Raphael Varane bids adieu to Real Madrid and looks to ‘new chapter’ at Manchester United

French centre-back expected to finalise move to Old Trafford in the coming days

Raphael Varane says he is looking ahead to a "new chapter" at Manchester United after ending his 10-year stint at Real Madrid.

United reached agreement with Madrid over the 28-year-old Varane's transfer to Old Trafford, subject to a medical and player terms being finalised, earlier this week for a reported fee of £34 million.

The French centre-back leave the Spanish giants as one of it's most decorated foreign recruits, with four Champions League titles, three La Liga championships and four Fifa Club World Cups among his many the many silverware player and club have won together.

Varane has taken to social media to bid farewell to Real, the club he joined as a raw 18-year-old from Lens in after only 23 appearances.

“These last few days have been charged with many emotions, feelings that I now want to share with all of you," Varane posted on his Instagram account.

“After 10 incredible and wonderful years at Real Madrid, a club that I will always carry in my heart, the day has come to say goodbye.

“Since I arrived in 2011, together we have exceeded all expectations and achieved things that I could never have dreamed of. I would like to thank all the coaches and all the people who work or have worked at the club for everything they have done for me.

“Many thanks also to all the Madridistas who always gave me a lot of affection and with their great demand they pushed me to give my best and fight for every success.

“I have had the honour of sharing a dressing room with the best players in the world. Countless victories that I will never forget, especially ‘La Decima’ [the 10th European Cup success in Real’s history, achieved in 2014]. I realise that it has been a great privilege to have been able to experience such special moments.

“Finally, I want to thank all Spaniards and especially to the city of Madrid, where my two children were born. This country will always be special to me.”

Varane said it had been “an incredible journey in every way” and that he was leaving “with the feeling of having given everything and I will not change a single thing in this story of ours”.

The message concluded: “A new chapter begins…”

Varane has 79 French caps and was a mainstay of Didier Deschamps' World Cup winning team in Russia in 2018. He played in all four of Les Bleus' matches at Euro 2020, where they exited at the last-16 stage.

His departure means new Real manager Carlo Ancelotti deprived of his two most senior centre-backs and the backbone of the club's defence for much of the past decade after Sergio Ramos joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer earlier this summer.

United are set to add the centre-back’s services to the capture of England winger Jadon Sancho, whose move from Borussia Dortmund was completed last week.

The Red Devils have also re-signed goalkeeper Tom Heaton this summer following his departure from Burnley.

Updated: July 30th 2021, 11:46 AM
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